By Sejal Shah | Posted: March 27, 2019
We hear so much about cleansing these days. There are many ways to cleanse, and it seems like everybody is doing it! It’s all over the internet, and even celebrities are touting the benefits. If done correctly, cleansing has some phenomenal benefits--but if done incorrectly, not only will the therapeutic value be lost, but imbalances can be driven more deeply into the body.
On a deeper level, be aware that cleansing is not just beneficial for the physical body. I can’t emphasize that enough! While the physical body benefits greatly from a cleanse, there are also amazing mental and spiritual benefits to be experienced. Each time we cleanse, the process goes a bit deeper.
Whilst there are so many simple ways to integrate Ayurveda into your daily life, cleansing is one element that's best practiced with experts.
Spring is the perfect time to embark on an Ayurvedic cleanse – and here are five reasons why.
1. Becoming alkaline
In winter, we follow nature’s lead and eat seasonally, to benefit from a more acidic diet that helps us stay warm and grounded. In spring, it is important to rid ourselves of that acidity and become more alkaline. This will ensure that we don’t suffer heat imbalances as we move into summer.
2. The opportunity for release
According to the late neuroscientist, Dr. Candance Pert’s book ‘Molecules of Emotions’, negative emotions and behaviors from childhood can lodge into body’s fat cells for years creating a definite thought and behavioral patterns in us. A study also showed how neuropeptides and their receptors form the biochemical substrate of emotion. We have an opportunity to process molecules of emotion stored in the fat cells during a cleanse. Cleansing allows us to release “old” thoughts and feelings that no longer serve us. As a result, we are more inclined to move away from negative behavior patterns that we repeat. We’re also more likely to open up to trying something new to achieve our desired results.
3. A Return to emotional balance
As the acronym SAD (for Seasonal Affective Disorder) suggests, winter is a time where we can suffer from depression and general feelings of malaise. Some people feel a spring in their step as winter thaws, but some of us experience feelings of heaviness in the body, heart, and mind, weighing us down when it rains and the snow melts in spring. The protocol of eating a lighter diet and walking in nature during the cleanse supports our ability to come back to a state of equanimity.
4. Setting up for success
The strength of our digestion waxes and wanes throughout the year. Many of us can’t wait for the abundant buffet of delicious vegetables that come up through the earth’s floor in spring and summer. Along with that comes the opportunity to eat more salads, and other cold, raw vegetables. This will require a strong digestive fire, and one of the benefits of the spring cleanse is that it resets the digestive fire to support our change in eating habits.
5. Strengthened immunity
With a strengthened digestive fire comes strengthened immunity that enhances our ability to thwart imbalances, such as severe allergies and sinus infections that often accompany spring. So cleansing in spring will find us out of the doctor’s office and in a place of ease and comfort, enjoying life!
Kim Rossi, Director of the Shankara Ayurveda Spa in Boone, NC, shares her insights about Ayurvedic cleansing
"I used to not talk so much about my Ayurvedic seasonal cleaning. My family still asks what are you eating?! Kitchari?! What's that?! Why??!!
Now my body is attuned to the seasons, it tells me it is time. My digestion is slightly sluggish, elimination a bit slow, and I observe the difference in my food choices and quantities. Even if we eat a sattvic diet, which is vegetarian in nature, using organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, we still accumulate toxins from our air, water, and food. Ayurveda tells us that if we cleanse twice a year, in spring to remove the toxins we have accumulated in our fat through winter and the heat we have accumulated in our blood through summer, a disease has less of a chance to accumulate. It provides a deep reset to our digestive system, elimination is improved, and toxins are released that are fat soluble in the deeper layers of our tissue - including the brain and reproductive organs. It is also mental health cleanse, in which we release impressions held in the mind - a great opportunity to be rid of all thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve our highest and best self. With the increasing speed and busyness of life, it is more important than ever to take time out to reset - you will emerge better than ever!"
Learn more about Ayurvedic Detox Retreats provided at the Shankara Ayurveda Spa here!
The original post by Diana Bellofato appeared on the blog of Art of Living Retreat center, edited by Sejal Shah with inputs from Kim Rossi.
Sejal Shah, E-YRT 500 Sri Sri Yoga Teacher, YACEP, Art of Living Teacher, NYU Post Graduate Medical School approved Yoga-CME retreat facilitator, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Homeopath